Electrical Conduction in Polymers, Ceramics, and Amorphous Materials
Materials which are electrical (and thermal) insulators are of great technical importance and are, therefore, used in large quantities in the electronics industry, for example as handles for a variety of tools, as coatings of wires, or for casings of electrical equipment. Most polymeric materials have the required insulating properties and have been used for decades for this purpose. It came, therefore, as a surprise when it was discovered that some polymers and organic substances may have electrical properties which resemble those of conventional semiconductors, metals, or even superconductors. We shall focus our attention mainly on these materials. This does not imply that conducting polymers are of technical importance at this time. Indeed, they are not. This is due to the fact that presently known conducting polymers seem to not be stable in air, nor are they stable much above room temperature. In addition, many dopants used to impart a greater conductivity are highly toxic and doping often makes the polymers brittle. These problems might be overcome, however, as more conducting polymers are synthesized.
KeywordsGraphite Zirconia Benzene Iodine Brittle
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